Pop culture has a significant influence on inspiring women to pursue STEM careers along with increasing positive attitudes towards women in STEM. So much so that the term “The Scully Effect" has been coined. The Scully Effect demonstrates that girls who grew up watching the TV show “The X-Files”: (1) had more positive attitudes toward STEM; (2) were more likely to pursue an education or career in STEM; (3) and 2/3 of the women in STEM said Dana Scully served as their role model and increased their confidence that they could excel in a male-dominated field (The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media). Not only is it important for young girls to see themselves represented in STEM but it is equally important for boys to also see girls represented as strong and intelligent STEM characters.
Fereshteh Forough is an Afghan social activist and the founder and CEO of Code to Inspire, the first computer coding school for girls in Afghanistan. She was born in a refugee camp on the border of Afghanistan and Iran and finished high school in Iran before moving to Afghanistan.
In January 2015, she founded Code to Inspire and opened the first all-female coding school in Afghanistan in November 2015. CTI, based in Herat Afghanistan, is a non-profit, one-year program for young women between 15-25.
Kashe Quest, A 2-year-old from Los Angeles is now the youngest member of American Mensa, a group of highly intelligent people who have scored in the top 2 percent of the general population on a standardized intelligence test.
"Kashe is certainly a remarkable addition to American Mensa," Trevor Mitchell, executive director of American Mensa, tells PEOPLE in a statement. "We are proud to have her and to be able to help her and her parents with the unique challenges that gifted youth encounter."
In the country’s oldest science fair, 17-year old high schooler Dasia Taylor submitted a surgical suture that changes colors to warn of possible infections.
This invention, aimed at helping surgery patients in Africa detect infections before they become serious, elevated Dasia into the 40 finalists of the national Regeneron Science Talent Search.
The sutures are the perfect solution to a problem which Smithsonian Magazine summarizes—where not only are post-surgical infection rates typically higher in Africa, but expensive, smartphone-based infection early warning systems aren’t practical in many African countries where basic cell phones are widely used, but not smartphones.
A twelve-year-old genius has just graduated from high school and been accepted to college with her eyes set on becoming a NASA scientist.
Alena Wicker is set to attend Arizona State University with plans to become a NASA scientist after graduation.
"I just had a goal I wanted to get to," Wicker said.
At 12 years old, Wicker is well on her way to achieving her dreams at Arizona State University.
The first one on her list is to work for NASA as an engineer.
"I always liked dreamed of being an engineer because throughout my life I liked building," Wicker said.
Her passion for building started as an infant with Legos.
ACE and RILEY is a women-run start up out of Vancouver, Canada, dedicated to transforming the way girls play. Currently there is a massive gender gap in post-secondary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) programs and careers which can be traced back to the lack of cognitively enriching toys marketed towards girls during the critical neurodevelopmental period in early childhood. ACE and RILEY is committed to levelling the playing field for girls by creating toys, activities and experiences that promote curiosity, problem-solving and exposure to foundational STEM skills while embracing and encouraging a lot of SASS.
Ace and Riley is owned by 3 amazing women, Dr. Amy Tanner, Chantelle Stewart, and Caylie Valley.